Inflation rate stays put at 3.3 percent in September Greece’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 3.3 percent for the second straight month in September, year-on-year, the National Statistics Service (ESYE) said yesterday. The prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco stood 7.4 percent higher and of food and non-alcoholic beverages, 5.2 percent higher, while those of hotel and catering services advanced 4.5 percent and educational costs rose 4.4 percent; healthcare services cost 3.6 percent more. Month-to-month, however, CPI surged 1.9 percent from August, with clothing and footwear 12.6 percent more expensive after the end of the sales period and educational costs 4 percent up. Construction firms lead bidders for Corfu casino Three listed construction firms lead as many consortiums which have submitted bids in the tender by state-controlled Hellenic Tourism Properties’ (ETA) for 80 percent of the shares of the Corfu casino by yesterday’s deadline; Empedos with Spain’s Cirsa Business Corporation as manager; Olympic Technical and its subsidiary Sithonia Beach (which manages the Porto Carras Casino in Halkidiki); and Vioter in partnership with Gantzoulas and Erteka and Casinos Poland (which manages five casinos in that country). The sale will take place through a multiple-round auction and the remaining 20 percent stake will be transferred to the winner over 50 years in exchange for a fixed percentage of the casino’s annual revenues. The terms of the tender provide for a relocation of the facility to upgraded premises totaling an area of 3,185 sq.m. that is to boost its potential for business. After completion of the plan, the Corfu casino will have equal capacity to that of Rhodes (30 tables and 300 slot machines). This year, it reported an 18 percent rise in nine-month turnover to 5.59 million euros. Olympic furniture Furniture firms Sato, Neoset and Dromeas have won contracts worth some 11 million euros in total to supply equipment to the seven media villages for the 2004 Olympic Games. Delivery is planned to begin on May 15 and be completed on June 30. The three firms, as well as Italy’s Berloni, were also shortlisted in the tender to equip the Olympic Village. Athens 2004, the organizers, will issue about 30 more small and large tenders, worth 70-80 million euros, in the near future. «We have now entered the final stretch of preparations. Most… have been completed or are currently under way,» said Athens 2004 CEO Yiannis Spanoudakis. New name, new head Ioanna Papadopoulou is the new CEO of Olympic Airlines, the revamped successor of Olympic Airways in which she was a member of the board. Papadopoulou, who succeeds Dionysis Kalofonos from the old firm, has worked in the Civil Aviation Authority for 12 years and as an adviser to the Transport Ministry. Greece-Syria A 40-member Syrian business delegation accompanying visiting President Bashar Al Assad met with Greek counterparts at the Export Promotion Organization yesterday on possibilities for expanding economic and trade relations.